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[712] the service; always prompt, they are distinguished for intelligence and perseverance in the performance of duty that merits constant praise. To the Brigade Quartermaster, Major J. St. Patton and Brigade Commissary, Major Reed, are due such mention as devoted attention to their duties and the interests of the service merits; both have performed all the duties pertaining to a department, and both having been compelled almost to create what they have had. The part borne during the latter days of the bombardment by a detachment from Major General Breckinridge's division, requires special mention. Captain Cobb's company of light artillery, under Lieutenant Gracie, manned a battery which was so spiritedly served as to attract attention on both occasions in which it was engaged, and was even noticed by the enemy. The sharpshooters, detailed from the same command, kept up a galling fire on the enemy during the passage of the vessels on the evening of the fifteenth, and drove them from the tops. The lamented Colonel Statham's brigade, under his own lead, showed a bravery in guarding the front of attack assigned him, that could not be surpassed. On one occasion, having forced his way through a swamp, deemed impassable, he made a rush upon the mortar-boats moored to shore, driving the force guarding on board, and had the positions of the boats been accurately known, would have taken possession of and destroyed several. The engineer company under Captain Winter was steadily occupied in the repairs of batteries, and did admirable service.

The report of the struggle at Vicksburg would be incomplete without the following merited tribute: During the engagement of the twenty-eighth, an estimable lady, Mrs. Gamble, lost her life by the fragment of a shell striking her while leaving the city. This lady deserves more than a passing notice. Burning with patriotism, she inspired all around her with the noble spirit of resistance to oppression, and confidence in the success of our cause. Ever present in the hospitals, ministering to the sick and wounded soldiers, she was among the last of her sex to leave the desolated city, when she yielded up her life in attestation of her faith and devotion. Though but the type of a class of which our southern land can boast, she is a martyr to the cause she loved, and without her name the history which Vicksburg has made for herself would be incomplete. To the citizens of Vicksburg a nation's thanks are due for their noble example in surrendering their property and homes to almost certain destruction, and that so little damage was done does not detract from the merit of the act, but rather serves to call for gratitude to the Supreme Being who has not only preserved from destruction the homes of a patriotic people, but in mercy granted a victory over their enemies. In conclusion, I deem it proper to remark upon the manner in which the bombardment was conducted. In locating the batteries, pains had been taken to place them without the limits of the town, advantageous positions even, having been rejected with that view, so that in the approaching struggle the fight might, if the enemy so chose, be confined to the armed points, and the city itself, which could have no bearing upon the ultimate result, be made to suffer as little as an enlightened and humane method of conducting war would lead us to expect, and which, under the same circumstances, I think most enemies would have pursued. Events did not justify our expectations. The bombardment opened upon both batteries and town. This was expected, and could not be objected to, and no fault is found at its continuing so as long as the enemy had hopes of accomplishing their object; but when the attack on the batteries ceased, when the bombarding force began even to gradually leave, when it was notorious that they deemed their attack a failure, then to continue to throw shells into a beautiful town, as was done day after day, with the sole purpose of injuring it, of defacing it, and of destroying private property, indicated a spirit of wanton destruction scarcely pardonable in the uncivilized Indian. This seemed to be the spetial mission of the upper fleet. Shame to the man who commanded it

I am, respectfully,

Your obedientservant,

M. L. Smith, Brigadier General, commanding Defences, Vicksburg.

Report of Colonel J. W. Robertson.

headquarters, First brigade, Second division, camp on Comite River, August 7, 1862.
Captain L. D. Sandidge, A. A. A. General Second Division:
Captain: On receiving the order to report the part taken in the action of the fifth instant by the First brigade, I referred the order to Colonel A. P. Thompson, who commanded the brigade during the action, with the exception of the closing half hour that the troops were under fire, when he was borne from the field severely wounded, and I submit, by his request, the following report:

On reaching the angle of the main road leading into Baton Rouge, the brigade was formed in line of battle in a common to the left of the main road, the right of the brigade resting on that road, and the left near a dense forest, into which Colonel Allen's brigade had passed. The brigade was composed of the following regiments, positioned from right to left in the order named: Third Kentucky, Captain J. H. Bowman commanding; Seventh Kentucky, Colonel Edward Crossland commanding; Thirty-fifth Alabama, Colonel J. W. Robertson commanding, and the Sixth Kentucky, Lieutenant-Colonel M. H. Cofer, commanding. As soon as the line was established, the command, “forward,” was given by General Ruggles in person, which was promptly obeyed by the brigade, moving forward beyond the dwelling-house immediately to the front. The line was

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